Scripting News for 2/11/2006

Jeff Jarvis: “Big advertisers and agencies are chickenshit.” 

Truth be told, I’m chickenshit too. When the highest bid was $15K I seriously thought of entering the contest, to promote Scripting News, my role in podcasting, and the upcoming release of the NewsRiver aggregator. $15K wouldn’t have met their reserve, and I wasn’t comfortable telling them that I was interested in advertising (not sure why), and $40K might have been too much to pay. But I suspect Jarvis is right that the publicity would easily be worth that much. Plus I really like the idea of supporting Rocketboom. So maybe I’ll buy some ads there after the first rush. I wonder who else, like me, thought about doing it but in the end was too chickenshit to give it a try? 

A new method of updating for OPML Editor users. 

My four answers to the famous questions, but not really cause I fudge it. Sorry. 

On this day in 1999, a preview of what Scripting News looked like as a “channel” in My.Netscape.Com.  

There’s a blizzard moving into the northeast. Don’t want to rub it in or anything, but the weather in Berkeley is idyllic. Hey I like a good blizzard as much as the next guy. For a day or so, then I’ll take idyllic. 

Check out the discussion of 3Bubbles over on TechCrunch. 

Reminder, once again you can comment on Scripting News. One big post for every day. It’s an experiment. WordPress has some good comment moderation tools, so maybe we can keep out the paranoid and childish. Comments like “You suck” and “This is why everyone hates you” are pretty useless. Stick to discussing issues and not people and everything will be cool.  

I also added a link in the right margin. If it works it should always point to the page for comments for the most recent day. By the way all this comment goodness is brought to you by the MetaWeblog API. It’s a mashup of blogging tools. How about that!  

BTW, while we’re on the topic of APIs, here’s something you might not know. When I put things like the MetaWeblog API up for review, the flamer-fans almost immediately drown out the discussion, so we’re left with a spec that’s not complete (but pretty good in the end). Then the very same people criticize the spec because it’s not complete. Isn’t that special. Since the blogosphere seems to be looking at how fucked up the blogosphere is (a good thing, btw) let’s add this to the list. Be circumspect, the flamers aren’t that clever, but they don’t have to be, because so few people are really paying attention. This is why when people like Doc Searls automatically jump to the defense of bloggers I want to call him up and say You know Doc, it’s isn’t always so black and white. Sometimes the pros are right and the bloggers are wrong. Even David Weinberger is wrong sometimes. (Perish the thought.) 

On the other hand, Doc has the best headlines, and sometimes his metaphors are so right it hurts. Like the one about the dogs after Hurricane Andrew in Florida. The house they lived in was destroyed, but the back door was left standing. They were found barking and whining at the back door, wanting to be let in. He uses that metaphor to describe people whining about A-list bloggers. What exactly do they want us to do? It’s hard to imagine. I’ve been passed by so many bloggers, I’m not even in the Technorati Top-100 anymore. Yet they whine about me being a gatekeeper. I just think they like to whine. 

Now I should get some good comments today. Heh. If anyone wants to admit to being one of the people I’m talking about. πŸ™‚ 

PS: if Danny Sullivan actually was adding a link to his own site to Wikipedia, he was spamming them and the editor was right to tell him to stop.  

27 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by jimmi johnson on February 11, 2006 at 8:35 am

    Thank Dave,
    It’s great to see this feature back!


  2. Thanks Jimmi. Great to “see” you — been way too long. Ever get to Berkeley?


  3. Posted by hullabaloo on February 11, 2006 at 9:23 am

    FYI In ‘Scripting News’ Dave the XML feed is now dysfuntional.


  4. Dave, you probably don’t read my blog, so I don’t know if I am one of the whiners you’re talking about or not. Nor am I thinking about you, specifically, when I talk about the new gatekeepers. But I’ll take a stab at a response anyway.

    When I wrote my posts on this topic, I was aware that it might be viewed as whining, and I even said as much. But the points I tried to make are these:

    1) Blogging done primarily as a way to make money perverts the pure conversational purpose that I and others believe (or at least wish) blogs should serve by injecting an element of competition. Whining, maybe. Accurate, absolutely. See JKOnTheRun’s post today about blog networks changing links.

    2) The formal or informal establishment of a blogging elite creates a de facto gatekeeper between the content providers and the content readers that is not unlike the old media system where the media companies control who sees and hears what. Inevitable, perhaps. Inconsistent with the move to the edge engendered by citizen media movement, I think so.

    I’ll give you the basis for some of my conclusions that I have drawn in my posts. Look at the most popular meme trackers (Memeorandum, Megite, Tailrank, etc.). Watch the little topic pods as they develop. There will be a main topic and then discussion links. Then watch as the A-Listers and near A-Listers add their comments to the discussion links. Much of the time, they link to other perceived A-Listers, ignoring more detailed analysis by lesser known people that’s right there in the discussion links.

    In this case, I’m not just talking my position. My posts show up on those sites regularly, often as main topics. So I have no basis whatsoever to complain about not being a part of the meme tracker conversation.

    But I see this sort of closely guarded linking behavior all the time. And again, I get links from some of those guys, so I honestly don’t think I’m whining. I just like the idea of broad inclusion based more on merit than affinity.

    Anyway, I appreciate the opportunity to leave a comment here, and while I understand that I and others may be perceived as whining, I think there is some substance to the points we are trying to make.



  5. I had just read a piece by Tristan Louis, who, imho has the highest ratio of flow-to-actual work in the entire blogosphere. In other words, he doesn’t do very much work, but he gets a lot of flow. When he whines about this I am amazed at the sheer chutzpah of the guy.

    Then I have to wonder, since some of it is aimed at me, what do they want me to do? An action-item list perhaps? I put a lot of time and opportunity cost and actual out-of-pocket money into building my site’s flow and authority. I should just give that to Tristan? What about the reader? If they like to read his stuff, why can’t they just go read it on his site? What’s this really about, my address? Should I let all the homeless people in Berkeley crash in my apartment? (There are lots of them, btw.) Aren’t I a gatekeeper in Berkeley?

    Anyway, I don’t even know why I raised the issue. I’d like some of Boing Boing’s flow. Maybe I can get on their radar somehow? Who’s ring do I have to kiss for that? (Just kidding, I don’t actually care.)


  6. “You suck, this is why everyone hates you.”



  7. Perhaps you should add “#comments” to the end of the link in the right margin of so that it links directly to the comments?


  8. Posted by Andrew Lasey on February 11, 2006 at 10:45 am

    Sam Ruby,

    You are moderating your comments to keep a Yeah Sam Ruby & Atom & Friends Facade up, so please no advice on how Dave should run



  9. Andrew, it’s no secret that Sam’s comments are basically people who agree with Sam trashing people who don’t.


  10. Posted by Andrew Lasey on February 11, 2006 at 11:45 am

    Heh. Heh. Secrets been out for a while, I guess. Thought I had the scoop!


  11. Andrew you gotta move pretty fast on the Inkernet. πŸ™‚


  12. Dave: Heya – about this bridge between and Are you using wordpress.root? I haven’t had much luck getting it working with my personal WP install, and haven’t had time to go digging through the code yet (though I’m planning on it). Just wondering if you know of anyone who’s gotten the tool working on a non WordPress blog?


  13. LM, lots of people, but there was a big update a few weeks ago, is there a chance you’re using an old version of wordpress.root?

    Also, I am not using wordpress.root for this connection, but I am using code that was cribbed from wordpress.root, but that proves nothing, because it always worked with

    The new version is here…



  14. Hey Dave,

    Nice addition to you weblog. πŸ™‚

    Now I can ask a question. I miss reading your DaveNet essays. When you gonna bless us with some new essays?


  15. Dave: Hmm, looks like I have the latest version of wordpress.root but no dice. But, it’s likely something to do with my own setup somewhere along the line, so I’ll poke around some more. Thanks for the response – I was curious how you had this rigged up over here.


  16. Rob, I’ve been writing essays here on this blog for a while. I don’t plan to start writing DaveNets again, they were defined by email distribution, but with spam being the scourge that it is now, I don’t want to be part of that.


  17. Thanks for the rub about the weather. We’ve got one hella of a “idyllic” blizzard starting up here in Grovers Mill NJ


  18. Jay, you’re very welcome! πŸ™‚

    How about some pictures? I love blizzards, esp pictures of blizzards, taken from 3000 miles away.

    Want me to take a picture of the Berkeley Hills for you you?

    Sorry. I’ll come help you dig out. Soon as I can get a flight out.


  19. I think the idea of 3 bubbles is kinda silly… it would be much more interesting if people could “vote for” and “tag” comments. The more “voted for” ones appear in full, and the least voted for ones with tags like “junk” or “crap” will just appear as one single line with the first five words or something… it’s a rough idea, anyway.

    The reason I think it’s silly is that people may want to hear what other people have written in the past. And what if I wanna chat with people who aren’t online at the moment? I think reali-time chat’s not a particularly good idea. I doubt it’ll take off.


  20. Hi Dave,

    β€œEveryone hates you, that is why you suck.” … πŸ˜‰ I jest!

    Just wanted to say, the hookup between and is great. I got side-tracked in the DaveNet archive for quite a while today. I loved it, like an old movie classic on a rainy afternoon.

    A thankful fan.


  21. Dave,

    First, I want to say how happy to see you have reactivated comments. have always regretted that you had blocked them. Second, I want to admit that I am one of those people you make reference to. All these other guys have passed you by on the Top 100 list and I haven’t. Even though I do everything Scoble tells me to do, ad Scoble says he learned most of it from you. So picture me just a little airier and at a backdoor with no house whimpering like a hungry mongrel.


  22. Shel, okay if you insist. πŸ™‚


  23. Dave, I was going to bid on that Rocketboom ad to help promote the relaunch of My problem was not being chickenshit, however. It was being chickent-cheap. : )


  24. Dave,

    Thanks Dave, I’ll start looking here for essays then!

    Keep plugging away.


  25. […] Dave Winer says he was tempted to buy the advertising on Rocketboom. Damn, I wish he’d won. I would love to see a commercial advertising Dave… You get blogs and podcasts and RSS. But wait, call now and he’ll throw in OPML!… […]


  26. For what it’s worth, as a follow up to my question above:

    I dug out a parsing bug in the XML-RPC class used by my WordPress installation. All appears to be well with the WordPress Tool for me as of now.


  27. […] Kent Newsome had an interesting post in which he seemed to take up my defense based on a post Dave Winer made (memo to Dave: I wasn’t even thinking about you when I posted the entry as I consider you one of the good guys in this, linking liberally to people high and low). But Dave made an interesting point, what were my motivations for the post? I hadn’t really thought about motivations beyond getting people to talk about the issue and figure out if there was a way to fix it. It’s a problem; It needs a fix; I don’t have it; maybe I can mine the collective wisdom of the blogosphere and help advance the discussion. By no mean do I think that a solution will be found this time around but, like all good discussion, some points will become clearer. What I like about Dave is that he doesn’t varnish things: some people find it abrasive but Dave has a way of moving the conversation or the advances forward and I think that he may be on to something: was I whining? I don’t know, I didn’t feel like I was. But was that the perception? […]


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